State of the Arts Blog

Critics: CTC’s ‘Busytown’ really works

Children's Theatre Company's production of "Busytown: The Musical" was inspired by the ever popular Richard Scarry book and adapted for the stage by local talents Kevin Kling and Michael Koerner.

Twin Cities critics call the show "charming," "delightful" and "boffo."

The cast of "Busytown" at Children's Theatre Company (Photo by Dan Norman)

From Rohan Preston at the Star Tribune:

The production, staged with effervescence by Chicago director Sean Graney, has oodles of charm, even if all its whiz-bang-ery seems almost too much for this collection of simple stories... “Busytown” is akin to educational shows like “Sesame Street.” It is actually more sophisticated than advertised, even if a bit disjointed.

From Rob Hubbard at the Pioneer Press:

This show might be as enjoyable for most grandparents as it will be for the youngest among us. Well, almost, for the attention-grabbing elements -- puppets popping out from the lip of the stage, split-second creature cameos -- likely will do for most little ones what Scarry's books did for this young reader. But it slows down enough to get you inside the hearts, heads and work lives of the anthropomorphic animals inhabiting this bustling burg.

John Olive at

"Busytown, the Musical" adds up to not very much and if you demand that theater has power and definable meaning, well, you might want to give this one a pass. But if you want fun and thrills, boffo performances, tuneful music (and if you have some bona fide children to take with you) then Busytown is your person. The kids will be delighted and you’ll have a good time as well.

"Busytown: The Musical" runs through Oct 26. Have you seen it? What did you think?